- Biological control of pedological and hydro-geomorphological processes in a deciduous forest ecosystem
- Volume | Issue number
- 64 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
This study describes the effect of soil fauna andvegetation on the development of landscapes and how these actually control soil formation, geomorphological development and hydrological response. The study area is located in a semi-natural deciduous forest on marl in Luxembourg, with a strong texture contrast in the soil at 15-25 cm depth (luvic planosols).
The methodology applied is both based on hydrological and geomorphological field measurements on runoff, sediment yield, perched water table dynamics, geomorphological survey, pedological survey and measurements related to in situ ectorganic horizon dynamics and litter decay, soil animal activity, as well as measurements of dynamic soil properties such as soil moisture and swelling and shrinkage.
The results show that there is a positive feedback between tree type, soil fauna activity and the development of pipes, partial areas, soils and geomorphology. The landscape can be divided into two main types: Areas where Stellario-Carpinetum vegetation and partial areas are common and areas with Milio-Fagetum vegetation on dry slopes, which are differentiating more and more over time as a result of ongoing geo-ecosystem processes, and which also reflected in their sediment yield. The hydrological response is highly different for both landscape compartments as they are dominated by matrix (Beech) and pipe flow (Hornbeam) respectively. Soil fauna and tree type drive both soil and geomorphological evolution and they both can be considered as important ecosystem engineers.
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